The US government is reportedly close to securing a deal with Pakistan that will ensure its ability to continue military and intelligence operations in Afghanistan, the nation where the Biden administration proudly “ended” a decades-long war.
“The Biden administration has told lawmakers that the US is nearing a formalized agreement with Pakistan for use of its airspace to conduct military and intelligence operations in Afghanistan, according to three sources familiar with the details of a classified briefing with members of Congress that took place on Friday morning,” reads a new report from CNN.
“The briefing comes as the White House is still trying to ensure that it can carry out counterterrorism operations against ISIS-K and other adversaries in Afghanistan now that there is no longer a US presence on the ground for the first time in two decades after the NATO withdrawal from the country,” the report reads.
Colin Powell just died from Covid-19. So we should expect a tsunami of eulogies from politicians, the mainstream media and even a few liberals who seem to enjoy sanitizing the murderous lives of the ruling class. Those of us on the left who refuse to play the games of polite society when it comes to war crimes will likely be chastised. And he will take his place among the “great generals” of the American Empire. All warmongering societies do this, so it should come as no surprise. But no amount of gushing tributes can erase the truth.
The man who helped whitewash the massacre of civilians at My Lai during the war against Vietnam, pushed hard for the Gulf War in the 1990s, and gave the green light to Ariel Sharon in his murderous assault on civilians in Jenin and land grabs in the occupied West Bank, also sold the war against Iraq at the beginning of this century with a fistful of lies. Iraq never attacked the US. It did not have “weapons of mass destruction.” But the Bush administration was salivating for blood and oil after the attacks on the US on the 11th of September, 2001. And any morsel of fiction that would justify their lust for violence was welcomed.
Powell would later blame his role in peddling these lies on an “intelligence failure.” This is the go-to excuse for the American military establishment, as we see with the latest atrocity they committed in Afghanistan, the recent drone bomb incineration of a family in Kabul after the disastrous pull out of American troops. Now that he is dead, he will not face justice at the Hague for these crimes. But really, no member of the American ruling class ever does.
The Alliance faces a range of challenges in emerging domains of conflict. These domains can arise from the introduction of new and disruptive technologies. The domains of space and cyber, for example, came out of developments in rocket, satellite, computing, telecommunications, and internetworking technologies. The increasingly widespread use of social media, social networking, social messaging, and mobile device technologies is now enabling a new domain: cognitive warfare.
In cognitive warfare, the human mind becomes the battlefield. The aim is to change not only what people think, but how they think and act. Waged successfully, it shapes and influences individual and group beliefs and behaviours to favour an aggressor’s tactical or strategic objectives. In its extreme form, it has the potential to fracture and fragment an entire society, so that it no longer has the collective will to resist an adversary’s intentions. An opponent could conceivably subdue a society without resorting to outright force or coercion.
The aims of cognitive warfare can be limited, with short time horizons. Or they can be strategic, with campaigns launched over the course of decades. A single campaign could focus on the limited aim of preventing a military manoeuver from taking place as planned, or to force the alteration of a specific public policy. Several successive campaigns could be launched with the long-term objective of disrupting entire societies or alliances, by seeding doubts about governance, subverting democratic processes, triggering civil disturbances, or instigating separatist movements.
The U.S. Army intends to test an entire company of unmanned combat vehicles in simulated battle next year, a wargame that leaders called unprecedented and a big step toward refining the hardware and software that will one day enable wheeled robots to take the battlefield.
Gen. Ross Coffman, the director of Army Futures Command’s Next Generation Combat Cross-Functional Team, told reporters at AUSA this week that the closest thing to the Army’s upcoming robot exercise at Fort Hood, Texas, was last year’s platoon-sized effort at Fort Carson, Colorado.
For that exercise, the Army turned some old M113 armored personnel carriers into robots. “You can imagine that if you can turn a 113, you can turn anything into a robot,” Coffman said. “We learned a ton. There were some clear winners in the technology base. There were some that weren’t as great.” Among the winners was the human-machine interface, he said.
“Now we’re moving it up to company level.” he said. “The lessons learned here, we can now then apply to a brigade and to a division and see how we want to fight with these things in the future. But I know of no country that has done above singular vehicle experiments. So, no antecedent.”
The globally influential propaganda multiplier news agencies AP and AFP have both informed their readers that a “fugitive” has been extradited to the United States.
“Fugitive businessman close to Venezuela’s Maduro extradited to US,” reads the AFP headline.
“Alex Saab, a top fugitive close to Venezuela’s socialist government, has been put on a plane to the U.S. to face money laundering charges,” AP announced on Twitter.
You’d be forgiven for wondering what specifically makes this man a “fugitive”, and what that status has to do with his extradition to a foreign government whose laws should have no bearing on his life. The Colombian-born Venezuelan citizen Alex Saab, as it happens, is a “fugitive” from the US government’s self-appointed authority to decide which populations on our planet are permitted to have ready access to food. His crime is working to circumvent the crushing US sanctions which have been starving Venezuelan civilians to death by the tens of thousands.
Rick Smith, whose inventions changed the way millions of people understand modern policing, now wants to send them to war.
Smith invented the Taser, the stun gun that is often the first thing police officers reach for when things get tense. As public concern mounted that cops were maybe a bit too eager to tase people, Smith invented the police-worn body camera, which has become a staple of U.S. police departments and plays a starring role in our national conversation about police reform.
So what’s next? Smith says AI and robotics will dramatically change how police departments do what they do. They could also reshape the American way of war.
Smith’s company, Axon, is already using machine learning on body camera footage. The company has access to huge amounts of body-camera video because police departments pay Axon to host it on Microsoft Azure. “Basically every big department you can think of, NYPD, LA, Chicago, D.C., we host all their data in the cloud for them,” Smith said during the recent AUSA conference in Washington, D.C.
Western governments in the NATO military alliance are developing tactics of “cognitive warfare,” using the supposed threats of China and Russia to justify waging a “battle for your brain” in the “human domain,” to “make everyone a weapon.”
NATO is developing new forms of warfare to wage a “battle for the brain,” as the military alliance put it.
The US-led NATO military cartel has tested novel modes of hybrid warfare against its self-declared adversaries, including economic warfare, cyber warfare, information warfare, and psychological warfare.
Now, NATO is spinning out an entirely new kind of combat it has branded cognitive warfare. Described as the “weaponization of brain sciences,” the new method involves “hacking the individual” by exploiting “the vulnerabilities of the human brain” in order to implement more sophisticated “social engineering.”
Until recently, NATO had divided war into five different operational domains: air, land, sea, space, and cyber. But with its development of cognitive warfare strategies, the military alliance is discussing a new, sixth level: the “human domain.”
One of the most feared planes on the modern battlefield is the U.S. Air Force’s AC-130H Spectre gunship. The service has made major upgrades to the gunship, including a new offensive laser weapon system.
Lockheed Martin published a press release last week outlining how the Airborne High Energy Laser (AHEL) “is ready for fielding today.”
“Completion of this milestone is a tremendous accomplishment for our customer,” said Rick Cordaro, vice president, Lockheed Martin Advanced Product Solutions. “These mission success milestones are a testament of our partnership with the U.S. Air Force in rapidly achieving important advances in laser weapon system development. Our technology is ready for fielding today.”
The gunship, nicknamed “Hell in the Sky,” packs a serious punch with three side-firing weapons, including a 25mm Gatling gun, a 40mm Bofors cannon, and a 105mm howitzer. The fourth will be the AHEL, a chemical energy weapon, unleashing concentrated pulses of light to transfer energy to the target, quickly heating it and damaging it.
The “Lift Sanctions, Save Lives” network is lobbying Congress to do what it should have done years ago: assess the impact of economic sanctions now routinely applied to ally as well as adversary. Such a review is long overdue.
Economic sanctions have become a new global battlefield. In July Beijing targeted several organizations and individuals, including former Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, in retaliation for earlier U.S. penalties. In January Beijing sanctioned 28 former Trump administration officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, as the Biden administration took over. In March, after the European Union penalized Beijing for suppressing political liberty in Hong Kong, the Xi regime retaliated against a number of Europeans, including members of the European Parliament.
The Chinese actions had little practical impact – preventing Pompeo and Ross from traveling to Hong Kong is not much of an inconvenience. (Ironically, they deserve to be sanctioned by Americans for their awful performance in office!) Moreover, Beijing’s action, though popular at home, backfired internationally. For instance, the European Parliament effectively killed a pending investment agreement.
Nevertheless, the whining about China’s action is striking. Americans and Europeans declared economic war on the proud, nationalistic People’s Republic of China, and were surprised when it struck back. Who knew that the PRC would dare act like … America!?